Looking to stand out from the growing smartwatch crowd, the Omate watch can be either a second screen for your smartphone or it can be your smartphone itself. The small wearable runs Android 4.2.2 and includes support for 2G and 3G networks: You can accept or place voice calls and download data with the Omate.
The smartwatch is a just-launched Kickstarter project noticed by the Smartwatch.fm blog on Wednesday. When I started to watch the product demo video, I almost tuned out as the first part is all about the design and doesn’t show the Omate in action. I’m glad I stayed tuned, however. This looks like a promising product at the prototype stage:
I like the idea of the Omate because it replicates and looks to improve upon the features of my current smartwatch: A MotoACTV. That device also runs Android, although it’s heavily customized, and it has various radios inside: FM, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi.
The Omate looks to have a familiar but optimized Android interface meant for easy interaction on the 1.54-inch touchscreen display.
And of course, it adds support for mobile voice and data; even including slots for a microSIM and microSD card.
The device runs on 512 MB of memory and includes 4 GB of internal storage. Some other key specifications:
- Dual Core Cortex A7 – 1.3GHz
- Omate UI 1.0 / Android 4.2.2
- 1.54’’ TFT by LG display (240 x 240)
- Multi-touch Capacitive Touch Screen
- Connectivity capabilities:
+ 2G GSM: GPRS class 12 EDGE Multi-Slot Class 12
+ 3G WCDMA: HSPA 7.2Mbps/5.76Mbps
+ WiFi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
+ Bluetooth 4.0
- Embedded 5Mpixel camera
- Audio Speaker & Microphone
- 600 mAh battery: up to 100 hours standby time
- Messaging Hub: SMS/MMS/Email/SNS
- G-sensor, E-Compass, Gyroscope, IP67
- Vibration alert
- Full set of pre-qualified Android applications
- Over-the-Air (OTA) system firmware update
I’m not sold on the need for a camera in a smartwatch, mainly because I’d think it difficult to use or add more bulk than I’d like. But if Samsung is planning to include a camera in its upcoming Galaxy Gear, maybe the industry knows something I don’t.
And I’m wondering about that SIM card slot: It means the watch will have its own phone number and data plan. Yuck! That also means you’ll probably want to forward missed calls from a smartphone to the watch, lest people will have yet another phone number to call you on.
The Omate is available to all who pledge $199 but early birds can save $20 for a limited time. The project has already raised nearly $22,000 of its $100,000 goal and still has 29 days to go.